There is a foot of snow in my back yard, the Rockies are just two games into their Cactus League schedule and opening day is still 35 days away.

Still, I can't help projecting. I believe the first half of the Rockies' 2013 season will be one of the most crucial in franchise history. What's at stake?

• The club's relationship with its loyal fan base.

• Walt Weiss' worthiness as a big-league manager.

• The beginning of the final chapter of Todd Helton's brilliant career.

• Quite possibly the long-term futures of stars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez in Denver.

• The ongoing referendum on the Rockies' front office.

No pressure or anything.